Choosing Your Bed Base

Posted by Tom Hughes on

In general most mattresses are used in combination with one of many bed base options. The most common being divan bases, ottoman bases, adjustable bed bases or bedsteads. It is important to know if your mattress is suitable for your chosen base, with some mattresses no suitable for slatted bases, and adjustable beds generally being special sizes (with mattresses designed to bend!).

Divan Bed Bases

The divan base is still by far the most popular style of base in the UK. Available in a wide choice of fabrics these wooden framed bases arrive with castors or gliders to help with mobility. In the not too distant past these bases were only available in simple fabrics, where as modern divans come in a choice of beautifully tailored fabrics, with matching headboards in a choice of styles. Most divan bases should be available with storage options, including side drawers, continental drawers, and end (jumbo) drawers. Ottoman storage is also available in divan style bases, where the entire base volume is available for storage.

Types of divan base:

  • Solid / Platform Top - These bases have an un-sprung rigid top panel, giving optimal support to the mattress above and not effecting the mattresses firmness. 
  • Sprung Edge Divans - Well known as a luxurious option these bases feature open coil or pocket spring units in their frame which acts as an additional layer of comfort. These bases make your mattress feel softer due to their sprung design
  • Firm Edge Divans - Much like the sprung divans these models feature larger springs with ridged wooden edges. This reduces the sensation of roll off on a mattress by supporting the mattress edges more than the centres

Types of Divan Bases

Ottoman Bed Bases

These models have wooden frames with the same choice of luxurious fabrics. Lifting is assisted by either springs, or in premium models - gas struts. Ottoman beds have by far the largest storage volume off all base types making them ideal for bedroom storage needs.

Ottoman bases can be topped with either slats or a platform top, with platform top models being suitable for all mattress types.

Ottoman Bed Base


Bedsteads come in three main designs, wooden, metal or fabric. They generally have slatted supports for the mattress which are either sprung or (relatively) solid. Due to many of these models being made abroad it is important to check that the bedsteads size matches that of your mattress. 

It should also be noted that due to their frames they often take up more space than other base options, making your bed both wider and longer than your mattress on its own. Frames with scrolled foot and headboards can add an extra 12in/30cm to the length of your bed in some cases.

Wooden Bed Base

Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds have bases with motors than lift up the head and foot section of your mattress. They are becoming increasingly popular as both a comfort and mobility aid. These models are also available VAT exempt for suitable persons when being used as a mobility aid.

Available in a choice of traditional and contemporary styles, these models can also carry options such as massage units or built in mattress heating. Available with up to 5 adjusting sections, these models are idea for those who spend time sat up in bed, need their legs raised, or need mobility assistance.

Mattresses are specially made for adjustable beds so ideally the base and mattress should be bought in conjunction. You should also check that these models have been designed to UK standards and plug voltages. 

Adjustable Bed Bases

and Finally, Headboards

Headboards have become more of a feature over the last decade, creating a focal point at the centre of your bedroom. They can be purchased separately or as part of a complete bed package deal, where they coordinate with the bed base.

Available in a choice of shapes, styles and depths, make sure to consider your wall space when choosing your ideal headboard. All UK headboards are made with universal attaching points, meaning any UK headboard can fit any UK base.

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